It’s D-day for the borough’s budding politicians hoping to take their seats in the council chamber as Wigan goes to the polls today.
Votes will be cast across the borough throughout the day as residents decide who will represent them for the next four years.
Seats are up for grabs in all of the borough’s 25 wards with counts then taking place in Wigan and Leigh.
Labour has the most at stake today with 23 of the places on the council being contested currently held by politicians wearing the red rosette.
In addition one seat currently held by the Conservatives and one by the Standish Independents is being battled over.
Voters have a choice of venues in each ward for where to cast their ballot with schools, churches, parish halls and community centres all being pressed into democratic action.
A number of portable structures will also be in use across the borough while more unusual venues for political action include Atherton Laburnum Rovers FC’s Crilly Park Social Club and the Botanical Gardens Association on Tyldesley Road in the same ward.
Hindley fire station and the Orrell Road Book Cycle are also being used as polling venues.
Residents have until 10pm this evening to cast their votes with the ballot papers then being transferred to Robin Park for the wards in Wigan and Makerfield and the Leigh Sports Village (LSV) for those in Leigh and the surrounding areas.
Counting is expected to begin at around 11pm with the first results coming in around an hour later.
The full make-up of the council for the 2018-19 political year will be known by the early hours of tomorrow morning.
Local elections have not particularly engaged many of the borough’s residents in recent years, with the most recent vote for places on the council in 2016 generating an average turnout of just 30.9 per cent. The best figures last time out were in Standish with Langtree, where 41.43 per cent of those eligible to have their say did so, and Lowton East where turnout was 40.28 per cent.
At the other end of the scale just 23.27 per cent of those who could vote turned out in Douglas and 24.91 per cent did so in Pemberton. Turnout in Abram was between 25 and 26 per cent.
A number of prominent figures in the council, including leader Lord Peter Smith, are up for re-election and new candidates are hoping to replace previous Labour councillors in several wards, including Orrell, Hindley Green and Golborne Lowton West.
The full list of venues where votes can be cast can be found on Wigan Council’s website.
For all the election night coverage, including the results as they come in, follow us on Twitter @WigToday, Facebook Live on facebook.com/wigantoday and visit the website www.wigantoday.net